Barber pulls ahead in race to be Bulldogs starting punter

Junior Collin Barber has pulled ahead of walk-on Adam Erickson for the punting job.

“Collin’s the No. 1 guy right now, but they’re still competing in my mind,” coach Mark Richt said. “They’re both competing for that job.”

Erickson, from Clarke Central, overtook Barber for the job towards the end of last season. Richt indicated that Erickson is likely to remain the pooch punter on kicks pinning opponents inside the 10.

Barber read Richt’s comments before practice on Thursday.

“I’m very grateful for that and whoever gets the job gets the job,” Barber said. “I feel like I’ve done a good job.”

“Both of them have punted well,” Richt said of the punting competition. “When Collin hits his best ball, we’re talking 45 to 50 yards with some 5.0 hang times. He can really boom it. Erickson when he hits his best best ball, he’s more like a 45-yarder, 40 to 45 with 4.5 hang time. Those hang times as they correlate to the yardage that their kicking them is good. We can cover those kicks.”

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SEC East will be decided Friday. Georgia needs Arkansas to win at Missouri. Kickoff 2:30 p.m. ET on CBS.

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